UNIVERSITY OF WARWICK Minutes from the Athena Steering Group Meeting Held on



Minutes from the Athena Steering Group Meeting

Held on

Wednesday 9 th May 2012

Present: Professor T Jones (Chair), Professor A Rodger, Professor PA Thomas, Professor P

Winstanley, Mr M Blair, Mrs L Walls, Mrs S Beaufoy, Mrs C Peck

Matters Arising from the Last Minutes:

Item 2. Athena Submissions

2(ii) That T Jones write to Heads of Departments requesting departments aims to meet the November 2012 deadline for Athena submission.

2(iii) T Jones to hold Athena discussions with Life Sciences, A Rodger with Mathematics and Statistics and P Thomas with Computer Science and Engineering.

Item 5. University Initiatives for Athena

5(iii) M Blair to investigate if a statement on work carried out promoting collegiality/team work can be included on annual review and promotion forms.

5(iv) S Beaufoy is working with LDC on the feasibility of a web based portfolio for completion by PDRAs on training and development activities undertaken during their time at Warwick.


That the Minutes of the Last Meeting held on 20 th March 2012 be approved, noting actions to be completed.


Terms of Reference

To Consider:

The draft Terms of Reference for the group.


Amendments to the Terms of Reference were agreed and will be circulated with the minutes of the meeting.


Athena Project Administrator

Mrs C Peck was introduced to the group as the new Project Officer for Athena SWAN.

The post is fixed term until 31 st March 2013.


Warwick Medical School Athena Workshop

To Report:



The date for the Medical School Athena Workshop has been set for Thursday

14 th June 2012 in Coventry House

An announcement of the Workshop will be sent out to other institutions inviting attendance.

(iii) A representative from Dame Sally Davies’ Office has been invited to attend.

(iv) It was discussed whether it was appropriate to invite Sean McWhinnie, an expert on the statistical data to give a talk at the Workshop.




A representative from the Equality Challenge Unit will give a presentation

P Winstanley will introduce the programme

(iii) A Rodger will give a University oversight

(iv) J Smith will present on the HR aspect of the WMS submission

(v) Questions should be set for the delegates to discuss in groups

(vi) An announcement of the workshop to be sent to the Russell Group

(vii) One free place should be offered to each institution with the option of additional places charged at £25.


Submissions for April/November deadlines

To Report:

(i) Departments of Statistics and Mathematics submissions are likely to be April


(ii) Department of Engineering are aiming for November 2012

(iii) WMG have submitted a good application for a bronze award

(iv) Psychology have re-submitted their application for a silver award

(v) Life Sciences are unlikely to have a submission ready until later in 2013. M

Gifford has championed Athena SWAN within Life Sciences.

(vi) Staff statistics for the departments working toward November 2012 or April

2013 submissions will be available for the Athena Network Meeting on 10 th

May 2012.

(vii) A Rodger suggested it would be helpful for Warwick’s Chemistry Department to work with Imperial’s Chemistry Department as both departments are aiming to submit for a gold award.


University Initiatives for Athena

(i) Maternity Returners

To Report:

(a) That the current arrangements for maternity/adoption leave do not offer sufficient support for departments.

(b) There is no maternity leave policy for PhD students.

(c) That the University retains a proportion of funding from research councils to be used to support researchers requiring maternity leave.

To Consider:

(a) To explore the possibility of working with the Institute of Advanced Study or the Business School on mutually agreed projects to examine data/working practices for staff.



(a) That putting in place a policy for PhD students must be a priority for the group.

(b) S Beaufoy will talk to Student Support Services

(c) Research Councils’ maternity policy to be investigated as to whether any policies can inform on best practice at Warwick.

(d) P Winstanley to contact C Hughes for advice on the academic support for the social science study.

Returning Parents Network

To Report:

(a) S Beaufoy is working with the Returning Parents Network and feedback has been passed to Human Resources for improving the experience for returning parents.


(a) That a HR checklist be produced and issued to Line Managers to assist and guide processes before a member of staff returns from maternity, adoption or paternity leave.


Athena Interim Report

To Report:

S Beaufoy has begun to draft the report, which will be sent to members prior to the next meeting.